Chewing Tobacco Deadly
Although this book primarily addresses cigarettes, cigars and smokeless tobacco are equally, if not more, dangerous. Chewing tobacco is just as addictive as cigarettes, if not more. One can of chewing tobacco delivers the same amount of nicotine as 60 cigarettes.
Skoal and Copenhagen have the strongest nicotine content among smokeless tobacco brands and are the best-selling brands of smokeless tobacco.
There are about 22,000 new cases of oral cancer each year in the U.S. alone, attributable to cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. However, tobacco chewers are 18 times more likely to get oral cancer than non-chewers. In one study, more than a third of those baseball players who use chewing tobacco reported having sores, white patches, or gum problems, which often is indicative of pre-cancerous lesions. Contrary to popular belief, 70 percent of Major League Baseball players don’t use chewing tobacco. Of those who do, 59 percent are seriously considering quitting chewing tobacco.
Rick Bender is a former tobacco chewer who lost his jaw and a third of his tongue from cancer caused by his chewing habit. He actively campaigns and speaks to youth around America about the dangers of tobacco.
The use of snuff and spit tobacco also is higher among Indian Americans and Alaska Natives than among other racial subgroups. About 4.5 percent of this population uses chewing tobacco or snuff, compared to 3.4 percent of whites, 3.0 percent of African Americans, 0.8 percent of Hispanics and 0.6 percent of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Tobacco companies promote directly to these audiences by sponsoring cultural events, such as powwows and rodeos. Again, the trick is to get young people to try any tobacco product.